TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Germany’s secret security council has allowed weapons shipments to countries directly involved in the war on Yemen, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The German government has approved the export of certain military equipment and technology to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at a secret meeting of the Federal Security Council, the Spiegel magazine reported on Friday, citing documents of the country’s economic affairs ministry, Sputnik reported.
According to the newspaper, Saudi Arabia will not receive German-made military products directly from the country. However, components, made by German vehicle manufacturer Kamag, will be supplied to a French company, which, in turn, exports its products to Saudi Arabia. Kamag exports “technology for the manufacture of low-bed semi-trailers” to France, but de-facto final recipient of the goods is Saudi Arabia.
In addition, the board approved partial exports to the UAE. The approved exports include components and software updates for the Cobra radar systems, which are manufactured by France and Germany. These systems have already been deployed to the UAE.
The German authorities imposed an arms exports ban on Saudi Arabia in October amid criticism of Riyadh over the assassination of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Berlin’s move prompted Paris and London to ask Berlin to revoke the ban, since some of the French and British weapon companies used German components. The blocked export items included RR Meteor air-to-air missiles for Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, which are purchased by Saudi Arabia.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition has conducted scores of unlawfully indiscriminate and disproportionate airstrikes on Yemen, killing thousands of civilians and destroying civilian property with the munitions sold by the United States, United Kingdom, and others.
In March 2018, in response to coalition violations in Yemen, Angela Merkel’s governing coalition announced that it would suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia, excluding contracts already in place.
Following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Germany started enforcing a complete arms embargo, triggering the ire of France and the UK, Germany’s two partners in European arms projects.
France has argued that Germany’s arms export policy would undermine “the credibility of the European defence project”.